First Name: Carmen tells the parallel stories of a quartet rehearsing Beethoven and a group of young people robbing a bank, supposedly to get the funds to make a film. Director Jean-Luc Godard attempts to make a film that resembles a string quartet, each of whose parts serves an abstract whole.
The film is a meditation on the difficulties of youth in the 1980s, the relations between cinema and capital, and how to film the human body. Godard fills the film with carefully composed shots of bodies playing music, making love, and acting violently.
His attention to bodies in First Name: Carmen makes the film's images very close to sculptures, particularly those of Rodin. The film's engagement with painting and sculpture continues Godard's ongoing investigation of the relationships between cinema and other arts